September 27, 2000
It felt decidedly strange, standing around in the Pregnancy & Infant Development section of the bookstore last week.
It has been fourteen-plus years since I've had need for/interest in/room on my bookshelf for books on pregnancy, or for any of the stuff that immediately follows pregnancy. These days I am much more likely to be found in the Women's Health Section ("Is It Menopause, or Are You Just Really REALLY Cranky?") or the Language & Writing Section ("Yo! Secra! That Novel Isn't Gonna Write Itself!") or the Self-Improvement Section ("Chicken Soup and Valium for the Executive Ass' Soul"). Books about fetal development, or about breastfeeding, or about the Ornery Ones/Terrible Twos/Threatening Threes don't really *do* a lot for me, at this stage of the game.
But this was a special situation.
There were three other women standing nearby, browsing the same book section. All three of them were much younger than I am; all three were quite visibly pregnant; all three were obvious first-timers. How could I tell? They looked well-rested, for one thing. (Plus one of them looked like she was actually considering "Childbirth for Dummies.") We were all very courteous and deferential toward each other: lots of polite smiles, lots of excuse me excuse me excuse mes, plenty of allowance for plenty of personal space. Who knows? Maybe they thought I was one of "them" ... one of those elegant, older career-types, maybe, who postpones motherhood until midlife. But I still felt uncomfortably out of my element.
And, frankly, sorta silly.
In fact, it was all I could do to resist saying to these other women, These books aren't for ME!! I KNOW all this stuff already!! They're for my daughter!! But of course that would be publicly admitting that I'm on the road to grandmotherhood.
And I'm not quite *there* yet, in my head. OR on my website.
From all accounts, Joel is very excited about becoming a father. In fact, I think he is even more excited than JAYMI is. She sounds pretty blasé about the whole thing right now, whenever I talk to her on the phone.
Jaymi called yesterday to thank me for the books (and for the unsolicited check I tucked inside the front jacket of "What To Expect When You're Expecting"). She promised that she would read the books I bought her ... as soon as she can wrestle them away from Joel, anyway.
"It was my pleasure," I said. And I mostly meant it.
Maybe spending an afternoon in the Pregnancy & Infant Development department of Cody's Bookstore isn't my idea of great gobs of fun ...
... and maybe I might have preferred that Jaymi wait a while before she starts her family: say, sometime during Joseph Lieberman's second term as President ... or better yet: after COLLEGE ...
... and maybe I'm not completely prepared for a small cranky person in diapers calling me silly names and ordering me around. (Besides Franz, I mean.) I still think of JAYMI as my baby. I haven't even finished sending out her BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS, forcryingoutloud.
This is all happening so fast.
fact is that sometime on or around May 4th, next spring, I figure that
one of two things is going to happen: either I am going to dive-bomb
into the world's largest box of Mountain Chablis, or else I'm going
to fall madly, passionately, stoopidly, irrevocably in love with my
... with Jaymi and Joel's baby.
Who knows? I might even end up back in the Pregnancy & Infant Development section of the bookstore, looking for books on the Ornery Ones/Terrible Twos/Threatening Threes.
Joel might need something to read, after all.